Monday, February 03, 2020


In a chapter that touches on the novelist Elizabeth Bowen’s helpless, masochistic love for an indifferent man, Gornick tells us about Daniel, a man she met when she was eighteen and he was ten years older and “to whom I remained in thrall for decades” even though he swiftly proved himself to be a cheat and a pathological liar. Years later, he shows up at her door to ask what she got from the affair. She leaves the question hanging. At the time, she may not have known how to respond, but now she does: he gave her material, and it is she who will tell the tale.